Then, there’s the plethora of parks and public fields within walking distance, including Battery Kemble Park to the west and Wesley Heights Park and Glover Archbold Park to the south.
There’s also the strong sense of community forged on the sidelines among a diverse crowd of parents.
“There are a significant number of people who work for international organizations who live in Wesley Heights,” said Cavalcanti, 49, a 15-year resident. “At the playground, it’s not that unusual to hear Italian, German, Spanish or any number of other languages being spoken at any given time. And there are a number of other parks and playgrounds a short drive or bike ride or walk away. If you have kids, there’s no excuse not to be outside playing on a nice day.”
Residents say those are just a few of the perks that come with living in Wesley Heights, a Northwest Washington neighborhood south of Tenleytown and Spring Valley.
Wesley Heights was developed by W.C. & A.N. Miller in the early 1900s, with most houses being built in the 1920s and 1930s, according to Kim Gibson, an agent with Washington Fine Properties, who has lived in Wesley Heights for more than 16 years.
Gibson said the neighborhood’s diverse housing stock, which includes everything from original W.C. & A.N. Miller homes to modern mansions, is one of many features that attract home buyers.
“It was an era which enjoyed good design and real quality control in home building,” she said.
These days, those houses frequently carry a seven-digit price tag, with houses currently on market priced as high as $14.9 million, according to Gibson.
Longtime resident George E. Watson, an 81-year-old retiree, said tear-downs and additions to the neighborhood’s original homes in the 1980s threatened to change Wesley Heights’ architectural character. In an attempt to curb the trend, he and other residents successfully petitioned for an overlay zoning code that limits lot coverage to 30 percent, limits tree removal and sets requirements for setbacks, among other changes.
“When we moved here in 1969, the neighborhood reminded me of the area I lived in as a boy in Connecticut,” Watson said. “The houses were all somewhat conservative, with a variety of designs. We sought the overlay when we saw people building houses that were bigger, but not necessarily better, and it has done a lot to curtail overbuilding.”
Watson said the fact that Wesley Heights’ streets are lined with sidewalks has also helped maintain the neighborhood’s sense of community, as people travel by foot to shops and restaurants in Foxhall Square, which will soon count a Wagshal’s deli as a neighbor.
“People make good use of the sidewalks, and a lot of people stop as they walk by my house and start conversations,” Watson said. “I think that just makes it a nice, cohesive neighborhood.”